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Top 7 India’s Greatest & Most Successful Women Captains in ODIs (2023 Updated)

Time and again, the Indian women’s cricket team has never failed to amaze us with their sheer love for the game, outstanding performance, and sober demeanor on and off the field.

The Indian women’s team played their first-ever ODI match in 1978 and has never looked back since then. Diana Edulji, the then captain of the Indian Women’s national ODI team, led India’s first-ever full-fledged Women’s ODI team at the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous change in the Indian Women’s cricket team. They not only performed brilliantly throughout these years, but also cricket fans’ interest in women’s cricket has grown a lot during this time.

In the last 10 women’s world cups in which the Indian women’s team participated, they have entered the semis five times, including being runners-up on two occasions.

Not just ODIs, now the Indian women’s cricket team also frequently plays T20Is, domestic T20 leagues, Test matches, and ODIs. The credit for the Indian women’s progress over the years from being just an ‘ordinary team’ to a ‘rising power’ to reckon with in the Women’s Cricket arena goes to the respective captains, who have now made the Indian Women’s cricket Team a much-beloved and famed team worldwide.

Most Successful Captains of Indian Women’s Cricket Team

In this article, we’ll discuss the top Indian women’s cricket team captains who made us proud with their achievements and amazing captaincy while leading from the front.

Before we start, it’s important to mention that since 1978, the Indian national women’s cricket team has had 13 new skippers to lead the side. But out of them, only 7 skippers could lead India in more than 10 matches. 

We’ll briefly take a look at these captains, their records, and achievements in the subsequent paragraphs. The period following the cricketers’ names indicates the duration or period for which these cricketers led the WODI team for India.

S Rangaswamy (1976-1984)

S Rangaswamy or Shantha Rangaswamy was the captain of the Indian Women’s cricket team for around two years. Though her captaincy record has been marred with 12 defeats and a win per cent of just 25, still she played a key role in the development of women’s cricket in the Indian subcontinent.

In her 15-year long cricket career, she played 16 tests and 19 ODIs for India. She scored over 1000 international runs with seven half-centuries and 1 ton.

Shantha also has 33 international wickets to her credit as a right-arm spinner. For her lifelong service to cricket, Shantha was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1976 and also won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Shantha is currently working as a cricket writer. She has also been associated with the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) as a coach and manager in her post-retirement career.

DF Edulji (1978-1993)

DF Edulji or Diana Edulji is a prominent name in the field of women’s cricket. She was India’s first-ever full-fledged captain in Women’s ODI matches and also led the Indian women’s national squad in the 1978 Women’s World Cup, held in India.

Diana has over 100+ international wickets to her credit. She was quite a good turner of the ball as a slow-left-arm orthodox bowler.

For her involvement in cricket and notable achievement in women’s cricket, Diana got the Arjuna Award in 1983. She is also widely recognized as one of the longest-reigning Indian women’s captains for the period—1978 to 1993 (15 years). It was under her captaincy that India won their first-ever women’s cricket international match at the 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

In the 1985 bilateral WODI series against New Zealand, India successfully leveled the series despite going down 1-3 at one stage. The credit goes to Edulji’s immaculate leadership and captaincy skills for helping India level-up the series, which once seemed impossible.

Surprisingly, Diana has been an excellent Hockey player, too. She played for the Indian Women’s Hockey Team from 1973-1979 and was also a key player in the Indian Women’s Hockey squad that won the 1978 Asian Games.

Anjum Chopra (2002-2012)

Anjum Chopra is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest women batter the country has ever produced. Anjum played her first international match at the age of 17. As a left-hand batter, she played a crucial role in India’s Women’s Cricket team in those days.

She is India’s fourth-highest leading ODI run-getter in the history of the game. In her 17-year long career, she played 127 matches, scoring 2856 runs with 18 fifties and one ton.

Chopra was the key member of Indian women’s ODI side from 2002 to 2012, during which she led the side in 28 matches, winning 10 matches and losing 17 of them, at a win rate of 36%.

One of the major highlights of Anjum’s career was India’s victorious campaign at the 2004 Women’s Asia Cup tournament, in which she scored a match-winning fifty beating Sri Lanka in the final.

Until her retirement in 2012, Anjum represented India in 12 tests, 127 ODIs, and 18 T20Is. For her contribution to Women’s Cricket, Anjum Chopra was awarded Padma Shri in 2014.

M Maben (2003-2004)

M Maben or Mamatha Maben is a former Indian captain and batter who represented the Indian Women’s National team from 1993-2004 in WODIs. She played 4 test matches and 40 ODIs in her 11-year career.

Maben was an aggressive all-rounder who could accelerate the tempo of the innings through her bat at the middle order in crucial times. Her shoulder injury in 2000 seriously curtailed her cricket career. For the next few months, she stayed out of action as she was recuperating from her shoulder dislocation, which she suffered on the opening day of Rani Jhansi Trophy, 2000.

Interestingly, Maben led India in 19 matches, winning 14 of them with a winning rate of 73%. Thus, she’ll always be counted among one of India’s most successful Women’s ODI captains.

Mithali Raj (2004-2022)

Mithali Raj is India’s leading serving captain in Women’s Cricket ODIs. In her illustrious 18-year long career, she got an opportunity to lead the team in 155 WODIs, winning 89 and losing 63 of them at a victory rate of 57.40%.

Mithali is widely praised for bringing fans’ interest into women’s cricket. For her outstanding career and cricket records, she is often compared with Sachin Tendulkar. Both Sachin and Mithali are credited for popularizing the game into the masses for men’s and women’s cricket, respectively.

The right-hand top-order batswoman has scored over 10,000 runs in her international cricket career with eight tons and 81 fifties. Mithali Raj is currently the leading scorer of WODI runs with over 7800 runs to her credit.

Mithali also successfully led India into the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup final where India lost the match against England by a whisker. India remained runners-up in the tournament, but the team’s overall performance was appreciated by one and all.

As far as captaincy record is concerned, Mithali is leading the chart as the most successful WODI captain with 89 victories to her credit. Belinda Clark (Australia) is second on the list with 82 wins.

Mithali is also the recipient of the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (2021), Padma Shri (2015), and Arjuna Award (2003).

J Goswami (2008-2011)

J Goswami or Jhulan Goswami is widely regarded as India’s best ODI fast bowler in the history of Women’s Cricket. The veteran right-arm-fast bowler has represented India in over 204 matches, taking 255 wickets with two five-fors. She currently holds the world record of the most wickets in WODIs.

During her captaincy tenure, Jhulan led India in 25 matches, winning 12 and losing 13 matches. Jhulan was awarded the ICC Women’s Player of the Year award in 2007 for her outstanding and consistent performance in the game over and over again. Jhulan is admired worldwide for her pace and accurate line and length as a fast bowler.

She retired from all forms of cricket in 2022 and has been working as a bowling coach and mentor of Women’s Premier League franchise—Mumbai Indians ever since.

H Kaur (2013-2023)

H Kaur or Harmanpreet Kaur is the current incumbent captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team across all formats. She is an all-rounder and often delivers at crucial times and in must-win matches. Besides 3 WTests, and 124 WODIs, she also played 153 WT20Is and 48 WBBL (T20s).

Kaur’s performance at the shortest format of the game as an aggressive batter (WT20s) made her a household name now. In 2016, she was bought by Sydney Thunder for WBBL, becoming the first Indian woman cricketer to win the coveted contract. In November 2018, she scored a century in a WT20I match, which was the first time an Indian scored a ton at WT20Is.

She also received the Arjuna Award in 2017 and continues to enjoy massive fandom and appreciation round the year for her consistent good performance for her team.

As a captain, Harmanpreet is leading from the front. Until now, she captained India in 14 matches and won 11 of them. She also scored 2186 from 114 matches and is one of the leading T20I run-getters of all time. Kaur also won the Arjuna Award in 2017 for her brilliant performance with the bat over the years.

In Conclusion

Indian women’s cricket has been grabbing the headlines for all the right reasons these days. Indian women cricketers are now leaving no stone unturned to make sure that they give their 200% on the field every time they go out to bat, ball, or field.

In the coming months, you may expect some more stellar performance from India’s women’s national team in international matches. Hopefully, by 2025, we’ll be able to lift the Women’s Cricket World Cup trophy—for the first time ever in the history of women’s cricket!

FAQs

who was the first captain of Indian women’s cricket team

Shantha Rangaswamy was the first captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. She led the team in their first test match in 1976 against West Indies at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Rangaswamy was a prolific cricketer, playing 616 matches from 1976 to 1991. She was a right-handed batter and wicket-keeper. Rangaswamy was awarded the Arjuna Award for her outstanding contribution to Indian cricket.

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